An eharmony patent titled ‘Social Matching’, first filed for in January 2012, has been approved in the US this month.
Images of an in-app user guide suggest that singles would click a ‘Ping Your Friend’ button to get feedback on a profile they were unsure about. Custom messages can be included in the ‘Ping’.
The friend would then be contacted via Facebook. They would be able to view and review the profiles there, clicking either “Go for it!” or “I’m not feeling him”. Custom messages can also be sent in response to ‘Pings’.
The patent abstract reads: “In some embodiments, social matching includes determining one or more friends of a subscriber, in which the one or more friends of the subscriber are associated with the subscriber based on a social graph; notifying (e.g., pinging) a selected set of the one or more friends of the subscriber for input regarding selected matches for the subscriber, in which matches for the subscriber are generated by a matching engine performed by a processor, and displaying the input received from the selected set of the one or more friends of the subscriber.”
It’s not clear whether Facebook has approved this hypothetical use of its technology. It may well be a direct competitor to eharmony by the end of the year; Facebook Dating is currently launching in more markets, with the US and Europe expected to feature soon.
Dr. Steve Carter, eharmony’s former Chief Scientist, joined the social media giant in 2017. His new data-driven role sees him “helping Facebook get even better at making meaningful and beneficial connections”.
In April, eharmony renewed a patent for wearable dating technology. A smartwatch or similar device would alert users when they matched with someone via the service, and display their profiles. The patent was first applied for in 2014, and first approved in 2017.
The brand’s Future of Dating 2018 report suggested that “smart devices will predict if your relationship is on the rocks” in years to come.
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